Waldorf Astoria Brings in a New Marine Biologist

Maldives Promotion House – Waldorf Astoria Maldives has announced that they have brought in their new marine biologist, Alexia Pihier.

The luxury resort has tailor-made programmes designed for each guest that explains the marine environment and its uniqueness in the Maldives, the life span of mammals, sharks and turtles, encouraging good practice for these fascinating creatures.  Weekly talks are also held in PLAY (the resort’s activity centre) where marine life is discussed within the guest’s area of interest, covering topics such as environmental problems, turtles, whale sharks and other wonders of the underwater world.

“At Waldorf Astoria Maldives, we are committed to working with the community in preserving the environment. We are confident that Alexia’s experience and enthusiasm will help drive continued research and development of new programmes for our guests and team members to do their part in protecting our reefs for generations to come,” said Alan Stocker, General Manager, Waldorf Astoria Maldives.

“Equipped with a stronger understanding of the everyday impact on the marine environment, we believe our guests, team members as well as the local Maldivians will be more encouraged to act responsibly in preserving marine resources and inclined toward the sustainable use of the marine environment.”

A few years ago, the northern atolls of the Maldives were affected by el niño where the water heated up to such a degree that some of the corals were killed.  Recognizing the need to protect the coral life, Alexia will also manage a vital project to recreate a natural reef environment for fish and organisms that thrive in these areas by creating a new and natural reef by attaching live corals to the cobweb-shaped frames, which over the years will grow and become home to many creatures.  Guests are invited to take part in this process, whether it will be under supervision or sponsorship of the frames.  Every four months, Alexia will photograph the personalized frame and send progress reports through to the sponsor.

The art of… [learning]

  • Tailor made talks
  • Collect coral fragments and either assist in attaching or watch the marine biologist attach the coral to the frames
  • Snorkelling and diving excursions
  • Fish watch – gather information about Manta Rays, Turtles, Sharks and reef fish for the Darwin Project
  • Dolphin cruise
  • Underwater Kingdom book
  • Dive in house reef and work on own coral frame
  • Sustainable fishing trips
  • Children’s programmes based from the kids club where groups of our next generation can take part in the coral regeneration project
  • Coral frame

Alexia holds a Degree in Marine Biology and a Masters Degree in Natural Resources Management from James Cook University in Australia where she also carried out research on reef fish movement inside a protected area. She also studied ecology and behaviours and impact of tourism and boat traffic on Spinner Dolphins in Hawaii.

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